A Shifting Foundation
It is historically certain that most of American’s founders maintained a clear Biblical perspective about life’s ultimate purpose, i.e., to honor God and His Word, and they carefully guided the development of government to reinforce and encourage this ideal. Their efforts were not perfect, but their efforts reasonably maintained our Republic for more than 200 years.
The first significant chink in this armor came in 1870 when evolutionist Charles Elliot became the president of Harvard. He transitioned the classical and scriptural base in Harvard’s curriculum for one that was more in tune with the goals and philosophy of the Enlightenment.
At the time of the War Between the States (1860-1864), there were a few more than a hundred colleges and universities in the U.S., and they were either for the training of the clergy and/or were administered by the clergy. But by the death of Queen Victoria (1901), Princeton University, the last of these universities, fell under the administrative savvy of non-clerical oversight. This signaled the beginning of a total secular control in higher education in America.
A more noticeable change came in 1925. This was caused from one of the many pegs that has been driven in the heart of Biblical Christianity and Judeo/Christian during the 20th century in America. The place was Dayton, TN, and the milieu was the debate between William Jennings Bryan and Clarence Darrow (an influential ACLU attorney) that took place during the Scopes’ Monkey Trial—which was a contest concerning the Constitutionality of the Butler Act. The Butler Act was a law in Tennessee that forbade the teaching of evolution in the public schools of Tennessee. Even though Bryan won the legal battle, he lost the public relations contest, and as the result evolution has taken an ever greater posture in the education of America’s children ever since.
It wasn’t long after the Scope’s trial until John Dewey (certainly by the 1930s), a social progressive, that was heavily invested in Darwinism, took the leadership of the America’s state schools. So, what’s the point? After the Bible was effectively removed as the primary premise for American thought, especially for our origin, our reason for being, our identity and our destiny, and was replaced by Darwinism, everything established on that foundation began to shift. So that by the 1960s it wasn’t a stretch to think that America’s school children must be protected from the so-called “myths” of the Bible.
Thanks so very much for your continued prayer and financial support for this ministry.
G. Thomas Sharp